The Bipolar Brain – A Radio Station You Can’t Turn Off
Ah, the human brain. It’s a wondrous thing. It calculates, it categorizes, it makes connections and it remembers the square root of 144. I’m constantly awed by its power.
But one of the annoying things that can happen to a brain is that somehow, a song gets stuck in it. Somehow, even though its great power and ability, the catchy hook of the latest pop song gets stuck inside some errant neurons and plays over and over.
And this causes a lot more trouble in my bipolar brain than it does for others.
I Have Justin Bieber Stuck in My Head; I’m Thinking of Cutting it Off
I find myself with songs stuck in my head all the time. Like, every day, all the time. And they aren’t songs that I like or even songs I have heard that day they are just random songs that somehow fight their way into my consciousness long enough to create a groove there. And once they’re there? Good luck getting them out.
My Bipolar Brain and Earworms
According to Wikipedia, this phenomenon is known as an “earworm,” “musical imagery repetition” or “involuntary music imagery.” In Germany, they have a special word for it – Ohrwurn – “a type of song that typically has a high, upbeat melody and repetitive lyrics that verge between catchy and annoying.”
Earworms are completely natural, of course, and apparently, 98% of people experience them. Women seem to experience earworms for longer and are more irritated by them. Songs with lyrics account for about three-quarters of earworms.
My Earworm Moved In
Unlike the experience that most people have, I have earworms much of the time. Sometimes it’s one song that repeats for days and sometimes it’s many songs in a day, but predominantly they are there.
I have found no research suggesting people with bipolar disorder have more incidence of earworms than others but there is research that says people with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) do and as I’ve remarked previously, OCD and bipolar disorder may be linked. And earworms on hypomania? That is your brain on extra-crispy-crazy.
Admittedly, it is a very obsessive thing my brain does. It feels like an obsession with the invisible. I can never see it so it never goes away. And I find this highly troubling.
Like, highly troubling. Like I could see someone wanting to ice pick his or herself just to make the blooming song in his or her head shut the heck up. It’s that much of an anxious obsession. It’s crazy-driving obsession. Sometimes I feel like I’m begging my brain to think of anything else but it laughs and carries on with the 30-second loop.
Holy macaroni is it ever frustrating.
So, my question to you is this: How often do you experience earworm? Is it troubling to you?
Tracy, N. (2012, November 23). The Bipolar Brain – A Radio Station You Can’t Turn Off, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, September 18 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/breakingbipolar/2012/11/bipolar-brain-radio-cant-turn-off
Author: Natasha Tracy
that people develop to try and alleviate the symptoms of this horrendous condition.
Personally I have suffered with this for over 50 years, so there is little I have not tried during that time:
pyschiatrists, pyschologists, hypnotherapy, medication, spiritual healing, and anything else you can think of
(including most, if not all, of the suggestions within this section).
I have no real idea why this happens to people; I can only surmise that it is some form of OCD/bipolar disorder
(very little else seems to fit the bill).
One thing, however, is certain: despite all the amazing advances in the medical sciences over the last 50 years or more,
there is still no real 'cure' for this problem. Hopefully, at some future point, we may know enough to help those who suffer;
in the meantime I guess we have to try and cope as best we can.
I wish I could be more positive about this but it's very difficult - especially after 50 years!
Anyway I truly hope that everyone here will eventually enjoy the peace of mind that is so often taken for granted by the
millions of 'normal' people out there.
As a profession I'm a dj n producer .
From morning to evening I'm in to music totally .
In day I work for a online music company n in night I play in different clubs .
N coz of this problem I can not sleep can't think , whenever I close my eyes its play any song from anywhere .
I know thousands of songs that's the problem
In morning my mind play easy listening
Day rock night edm n when I'm trying to sleep all mix up .
I'm fucking so irritated n planning to quit my all work n start something new away from music .
Any good adavice plz
1. Classical music. My go-to song is, and always will be, Bethoven's 7th Symphony, Second Movement (Alegretto) and, as long as I'm not feeling down, Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata (though I prefer to avoid the latter if I'm in a sad mood as it can be detrimental to my state of mind).
I should add however that I never indulge in trash (92% of modern) music intentionally. It's usually due to a co-worker, or a movie I'm watching (though I've been avoiding these more often as well since they're going in the same direction as the music), or while in a public area where they're playing this garbage that I pick up some brain draining song. It's no wonder there's tons of American's today who don't even know what WWII was, don't know the capital of their own country, can't name more than two presidents, have no idea when Columbus sailed the ocean blue, or when the Declaration of Independence was penned, and are becoming generally stupider by the second... though in retrospect the ignorant do make much better consumers. So from a capitalist standpoint they're building a treasure trove of blabbering brain-dead simpletons. I'm not angry saying this. I'm almost brought to tears by the stark truth of it.
Sorry, I'm drifting into the dark recesses of my mind and trying to drag you along for the ride.
2. Read up on the latest breakthroughs in science. Primarily quantum physics or quantum mechanics, though I do like learning about new discoveries and revelations in the clinical and astronomical realms as well. Essentially, delving though-provoking things that interest you, but that may also perhaps challenge you to expand your mind a bit.
I don't believe this should be limited to scientific however, but I believe it could work for other interests that offer a bit of challenge. Perhaps you like to knit and want to challenge yourself with a new pattern that is complex to master. Or perhaps you enjoy puzzles and should try a more difficult level. Forcing your mind to focus on something of interest that actually challenges the mind has a tendency, for myself at least, to take out the trash.
Anyway. I have had music loops in my head all my adult life. Among other styles of music I like sixties rock, but that doesn't mean I necessarily want 'Heroes & Villains' by the Beach Boys playing constantly in my head for five years, as it did in my twenties. My current constantly-looping songs are Lady Friend by the Byrds and And Your Bird Can Sing by the Beatles. Can't really switch 'em off. They might go quiet if I'm distracted, but if I'm on my own, especially in transit, they swell up reliable as clockwork.
The only 'cure' for this problem I have found is meditation. In my particular case, the technique of 'insight meditation' or 'Vipassana' as it's called. It is very powerful, sorting out the clutter and creating wide-open spaces in your head so your mind can relax and breathe. It's very deep mind/body work and can potentially be 'too much' for people who haven't previously attempted some form of formalised self-examination (e.g. cathartic therapy), but it can also be tremendously liberating, from many 'demons', but also from endlessly playing songs. I haven't practiced for a while, but I'm about to get back to it.
Please look it up, it may be of use to you.
I've never been properly diagnosed with whatever is wrong with me other than anxiety and depression because last time I've seen a mental health professional was when I was a child. I know I also am fairly sure I'm either psychic or schitzofrenic or something but I need to get it under control, I start a new job tomorrow which is also probably keeping me awake although the darn song playing is no help. Somehow it just changed to a song by breaking Benjamin called diary of Jane. I hate this song so much. I can't hold jobs easily and can't even find my way there without using GPS on my phone to and from work for about a month straight until I get the navigational part of driving to work beat into my brain. It's hard to hide my problems from employers that's why I have no health insurance. Tomorrow I start a new job and I hope the insurance starts soon
Also my name is Stan but my family messed me up from the day I was born by calling me Jake after my uncle Jake whose name was also Stan, I have no family anymore I dunno what's wrong with me please help if any of this applies to you and you actually HAVE been properly diagnosed
My name is Matthew and I've had this same problem for 6 months or more now. I don't even know when it first started. The current song is a fragment of "Trouble" by Wade Bowen. "I wish trouble always looked that good... I wish trouuuuuughble always looked that GOOD...repetitive instrumental" I heard this song a few days ago and it became my new permanent this early morning. It feels so bad. I try to take control of my mind, even calling upon God but I have no victory. God is not helping me with this problem. I do not know if you all are believers or not in Jesus Christ but I am and even though God is not helping me with this specific problem I will still believe. As I am typing this my symptom is being alleviated which I thank God for. I hope we all find a cure to this awful affliction.
I doubt I'd want to make it go away completely, but I'm curious to know what it would be like if my head were just...quiet... Ahhhh
I am moderately deaf in both ears and I am starting to feel very isolated and vulnerable for some reason. I do not mix very well but my psychiatrist thinks that I am getting better; but I must not give up hope, as that is all that is left in the box. Happy Christmas to everyone wherever you are.
So I've been on dozens of different anti-depressants for persistent clinical depression for half my life. I've tried just about everything. For a few months, I took pramipexole (brand name Mirapex), usually prescribed for restless leg syndrome but also off-label for depression. I found it dulled my mood too much to the point that I came off of it. But now I realize that it significantly reduced my earworms, as now they're back with a vengeance.
Anyway, I needed somewhere to share this. Thanks to Natasha's 4-year-old post for providing a place to do so...
I HATE THIS SONG. HOWEVER IT WAS ONE OF THE MOST PERVASIVE TUNES ON A NONSTOP LOOP BRAIN REPLAY. I NEVER BOUGHT THIS UP WITH A FORMER, INTELLIGENT PSYCHIATRIST. WHY, I DUNNO: the problem disappeared for many years. But has begun to return.
I have: ADD, anxiety disorder,I may be one of 3 bipolar patients. (IPad editing sucks, by the way, Apple, you idiots).
What does this all mean? HELP. THANKS.
This started when I was about 20 and I'm now 67! I am resigned to living with this for the rest of my life; I have tried everything to 'cure' this problem over the years - even spiritual healing, and no, I'm afraid it didn't help at all!
Some days are better than others but it never really goes away. I used to think I was the only person in the world with this but now realise it's far more common than I could ever have imagined.
Got to keep going - that's all you can do :-)
I know what "getting a song stuck in your head is", but this is different. I can hear every single nuance of the song. I hear the harmonizing back up voices, and cymbols. I can even manipulate the song a bit if I want. I'll cut out the instruments, and add more back up vocals, or make it into a house beat! This however doesn't make it worth it. Like spinning around in a chair can be fun at first, but eventually you puke... It's like joining in to the sound of nails on a chalkboard.
I truly think it's fascinating, but I absolutely would pay someone to take it away from me. I pray every day and include this in my prayers. how do I get rid of this?
Thanx for letting me vent,